Pink for boys

As some of you know, I am kind of obsessed with not gender-ing Matilda. While I was pregnant, we knew we were having a girl, but we didn’t really refer to her as one until she was born. We initially bought everything in green and orange so that we would not be drowning in a sea of pink! Even when other people have girl babies, we tend not to buy them pink clothing. I am also terrified that Matilda will become obsessed with Disney Princesses.

I am generally confused about why its so important to identify a baby as a girl or a boy. It bothers people when they cant discern a gender identity immediately. For instance, when we get stopped in the street by onlookers, its the first question they ask, and are often upset when they guess wrong (As a side note, according to Gender Outlaw, when people are not sure what gender to assign to someone, they tend to choose male because it has a higher social standing). Our family in Spain is concerned that we did not pierce Matilda’s ears and thus, people will think she is a boy (which I guess is a very bad thing).

Maybe I’ve internalized it, or maybe its a result of receiving so many pink baby presents, but Matilda is now all pink, all the time.

Recently, my friend Angela pointed out to me that I shouldn’t obsess so much because pink was not a girl color until recent times. Like most gender stereotypes, we tend to think that people always thought this way, but actually pink used to be considered a boy color. Blue was the color of femininity, and red was considered masculine. Pink, because its really a light red, was for boys. It makes me feel better to be reminded that assigning characteristics to color is kind of arbitrary, but I am still going to dress Matilda in neutrals when we go out so I can confuse strangers on the street!